Getting along with your boss is not only a vital part of succeeding in your career. Your relationship also impacts your overall job satisfaction and engagement in the workplace. Therefore, it’s important to foster a positive relationship with your manager, especially as he or she is likely in charge of whether you get a promotion or a raise — or worse, if you will be fired.
Sometimes it’s easy to know when your boss is happy with your performance: they are generous with their praise and make it known to their boss and other colleagues that you are a star employee. However, not all supervisors are as open. Before you seek their feedback, here are nine not-so-obvious signs your boss is impressed with your work.
1. She provides constructive feedback.
The operative word is constructive, not critical. The best managers serve as coaches and mentors: suggesting different ways a project could have been approached or tips for improving your work product. And if they care to give you feedback, they see you as a critically important member of their team.
2. She invites you to important meetings.
When I was early in my career, my first boss included me in a high-level client meeting. My job was to support the work as a junior accountant. However, the opportunity to shadow my boss and watch him deftly handle a very difficult client meeting taught me volumes. It also showed how important it was to him that I learn on the job. If your boss is giving you ample opportunities to learn, they are invested in you — and your relationship.
3. She challenges you.
If you are selected for an important project, it’s a sure sign your boss has confidence in your abilities and wants to give you a “stretch assignment.” Think of the tough assignments as tests of your mettle.
4. She holds you to a higher standard.
If it seems like your boss is tougher on you than your colleagues, it may be that she sees your potential and wants you to succeed.
5. She asks for your input.
Whether it’s in a weekly one-to-one or in a team meeting, if your boss asks for your thoughts and gives you time and space to articulate them, that’s a good thing. It shows he respects your ideas and wants to give you a voice.
6. She refers other employees to you.
Don’t see it as a burden if your manager sends a struggling coworker your way. It might seem like extra work to take someone under your wing, but it’s an indication your boss has confidence in your ability to mentor and train colleagues and junior staff.
7. She frequently checks in on you.
If your boss goes out of his way to ask how you’re feeling, your level of job satisfaction, and your interest in growth, it’s not the third degree. He’s looking for ways the company can retain you.
8. You are seen as the “go-to” person.
It’s promising if your boss thinks of you first when something needs to get done, whether it’s a fire drill project or a regular task.
9. You’re asked to lead an initiative your boss would have normally led.
Whether it’s preparing a quarterly report or driving a client strategy, if it’s a project you would normally have supported rather than led, your boss is showing her confidence in your leadership and follow through.
Opportunities are granted to employees who are doing the best job for the company. If your boss takes notice of your performance, identifies specific projects that you’ve excelled at, seeks your advice and expert counsel, and seems genuinely interested in your personal and professional satisfaction, you can be sure you’re on the path to success.
Tiffany Couch is the CEO and founder of Acuity Forensics, a forensic accounting and fraud investigation firm that helps unravel complex financial crimes.